Our first day in Indio we spent most of the day just relaxing at the timeshare while Grandpa and his wife Linda visited with us.
The weather was almost too good to be true. It was in the high 80's and, the sky was cloudless. We had lunch outside on the balcony, and while the girls napped we got a chance to sit and visit with Grandpa and Linda. We took the kids to the playground for a little bit after their nap, and then Grandpa took us all to dinner before we had to say goodbye. Hopefully it won't be so long before we see them again next time!
|Sitting still in the tube isn't really her idea of a good time. It's more fun for her to be climbing all over her dad.|
We spent the next day at Seaworld. It took us a while to get there, and at one point I was certain that Justin had taken us there on the longest possible route, but I stand corrected. We spent the next several hours with Christopher and Brooke, dragging our daughters from one end of the park to the other to take in the sights of a Beluga whale, orcas, dolphins, a pair of walruses (my personal favorite), flocks of penguins, sea lions, seals, sharks, turtles, and fish.
After a very full day of exploring the park we all loaded back into our cars and set off for Riverside for dinner with Justin's Aunt Melinda, and her husband Brian, and daughter Loren. The dinner was great, and it's always nice to see them and get a chance to catch up a little bit. When we left I think Vivian was asleep before the car even left the parking lot. We got back to the timeshare, and I was getting the little ones changed and ready for bed, so I was the last one ready. When I came in the bedroom for family evening prayers I found this:
So it ended up being just prayers with Justin and I that night.
|Vivian is fascinated with the turtles, and with this one the sentiment seemed to be mutual.|
|Checking out the sharks.|
|Drying their hands after washing up from feeding fish to the sea lions. There is a video, but it's too big to upload here, so check facebook for that.|
|It was the end of a very long day|
We slept with the blinds open while we were there, because it's so nice waking up to sunshine, especially when I live in a place where I have insulating curtains over all our windows. It also means that we wake up early.
We still managed to have a slow start to the day, but Christopher and Brooke didn't seem to mind. We spent another day just at the resort, hanging out at the pool and lazy river. This isn't our usual vacation style, but we enjoyed the change of pace.
The next morning Christopher and Brooke had to return to Idaho for Christopher's drill weekend, and Justin and I set off for Joshua Tree National Park. We decided to try and tackle a 3 mile hike to an oasis. I was a bit concerned about the length since this was the first time that we were having Vivian hiking on her own without the backpack. My worries were unfounded. She loved it. In fact I had to keep asking her not to run on the way there. As we were nearing the oasis we got passed by a marine (easily identified as such because, although clearly off duty, he still insisted on wearing his tiny green PT shorts) who ran the entire thing up and back, apparently without twisting an ankle. As he was passing us again on his way out Vivian remarked "well that guy is running Mom..." I briefly wanted to stick out my foot and trip him just to prove to Vivian that it was a bad idea.
Although she is a very good little hiker, Vivian's legs are still pretty short, so it took us quite a while to actually get there. In fact, I'm not sure that we had really thought that part through. Ivan was probably more relieved than anyone to arrive at the oasis and get a break from the baby carrier.
On the hike back out there was a rather lengthy, steep incline where Justin had to carry Vivian, but most of the hike she did on her own. It took us the better part of the day to complete, so next we decided to just move on to an area of the park where we could play around on some rocks.
Vivian was asleep the minute we got her in the car, and back asleep the second her head hit the pillow back at the resort. We left early the next morning and decided to detour back through the park. We stopped to take a few pictures along the way.
Unfortunately we missed a key turn on our route back to the freeway, and we wound up driving a much slower route, but the emptiness of the desert is beautiful in it's own way, and we weren't sorry to spend the extra time away from the frantic traffic. We made it back to Orem late that night, spent the night with my parents, attended church in their ward and arrived back in Logan Sunday evening. The weather here seems to have taken a turn for the better in our absence. While I would have liked another week, or two, or three in Indio, this definitely beats the temperatures of the past few months.
|Sunshine isn't an effective alarm clock for everyone.|
|I wish that I had thought to take a picture while Caroline was still in the pool with her dad, but by the time it dawned on me to get out the camera she was with Brooke and I lounging around in the pool chairs.|
|This was really Ivan's first time enjoying the outdoors, and he is a fan.|
|We need to find her a tiny camelback|
|Finally arriving at the oasis|
|Justin was brimming over with pride, so he insisted on stopping to take pictures of her hiking back out.|
|Ivan and I preparing for departure.|
|Justin played with Vivian for a little while, and then came and took a turn with Ivan while I joined Vivian up on the rocks. This picture makes me think that my days as favorite parent might be numbered with this one too.|
|As we were leaving we stopped to get a picture with this beautiful sunset. I love desert sunsets.|
|The wet weather has the desert flowers all in bloom.|
|Our traditional sign picture|